Haunting is a spooky horror tale that raises our spirits
By Emel Saat
March 10, 2021 – Haunting follows teenager Bram, who has the extraordinary ability to raise the dead. As he is hounded by the mysterious necromancer Deacon, he teams up with a girl named Faith. . Check out the Kickstarter here: LINK
Emel Saat from the Freefall Comics team, had a chance to speak with Phil Falco about the process of making Haunting, as well as some of his. Check it out below:
Before ghosts and zombies ever became a part of the story, HAUNTING started as my reflection on the archetypal “hero” character.
2) How many issues will HAUNTING have? And do you already know how it will end?
I do know exactly how HAUNTING will end when the time comes. But in terms of when that will be, I’m trying not to nail myself down yet. Bram and Faith have a long journey ahead of them. As long as people are interested in reading, I would be happy to tell this story for dozens of issues before we hit that eventual end point.
3) Why do you like writing horror?
My favorite thing about horror stories – and supernatural horror in particular – is that the human characters and relationships are often just as (if not more) interesting than the supernatural entities that anchor the story. The way that the characters interact with the fantastical, the fears and character flaws that are brought to light by their experiences, and the ways that their relationships are challenged – these are my favorite part of any given supernatural story. And this is what I’m most excited to explore in HAUNTING.
4) Walk us through how long it takes to make each issue of HAUNTING?
While there’s always variability, I would say that from the point I start writing a script to the point when I get the printed copies of an issue it’s usually about 8 months. One of the best things about comics is that they’re a collaborative process. So it may take me one or two months to finalize a script, but it then takes a bit longer (maybe three or four months) for our incredibly talented artist, Anna Wieszczyk, to complete the line art. Coloring adds another two months or so, and then lettering plus printing adds a final three or four weeks total.
The way we try to get ahead of the long production time is by having multiple comic issues in process at once. As I’m writing this, I’m gearing up for the launch of the HAUNTING #3 Kickstarter next week. But I’m also giving notes to Anna on the HAUNTING #4 art and finalizing the script for HAUNTING #5. As you can imagine, it gets a little confusing. But when you love what you’re making, it is totally worth the headache!
5) What is your favorite thing about making HAUNTING?
I would have to say the characters are the highlight for me. As a consumer, I’ve always been most attracted to the characters in whatever media I’m reading/watching. Plot, tone, genre, etc. are all super important, of course. But at the end of the day, I read/watch a story for the characters. So that has always been my approach to writing as well. How can I serve the characters and their arcs? What are the exciting things about each character and their unique voice? Whether it’s Bram’s snarkiness, Faith’s earnestness, or Deacon’s sadism, my favorite part of creating HAUNTING is bringing all of them to life.
6) I just have to say, I like that HAUNTING is a horror comic that is pretty colorful. How did you decide on the art style?
I’m glad you noticed! While I love a good dark horror comic I think that the brighter colors and more defined art style better suit the character-driven story I’m trying to tell. One of the things I looked most closely at when I was considering artists and colorists for the series was how expressive the art style allowed the characters to be. Despite the dark world of the series, I wanted the characters (including the ghosts) to ‘pop’ out at the reader. I’m really happy with where my team and I landed, as I think we’ve really hit that middle ground of maintaining a horror/supernatural aesthetic while also remaining colorful and expressive.
Emel Saat is an award winning indie filmmaker based in New York City. In addition to being a film director, she is also an artist, writer, producer, and editor. Emel graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor’s degree in filmmaking. Her first film Kitty City screened in 2018 & her follow-up film titled Koko Ni Inai (I’m Not Here) received critical acclaim, such as winning “Best Fantasy Film” at the 2020 New York Movie Awards.